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Critical Path


The specific path of tasks in your project where if any one of those does not complete within the allocated duration, the end date of the project will be pushed out accordingly.

Project Manager Usage Context

Used to help ensure that projects are delivered within the agreed schedule, particularly if hard dates need to be met. 

Project managers use scheduling tools such as MS Project to help identify which exact tasks and activities are on the critical path of their project, so they can manage them accordingly.

E.g. “We absolutely need to receive that equipment from the vendor by 14th October, otherwise there is no way we will be able to meet our go-live date - this activity is on the critical path of the project”

Comments / Tips

The term “Critical Path” is often misunderstood by anyone who is not a project manager to mean that the task is “critical”, however completely missing the point that it's critically time sensitive to your project to the extent of busting your project’s schedule constraints.

You may want to avoid using the term "Critical Path" on its own and instead also express something to the effect that the entire project schedule hangs on their ability to deliver the task by a particular date.  

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